Counterpoint

  • It: Contrapasto
  • Lat: Contrapunctus

Defn: A musical device using contrary motion, perfected in the Baroque Period and exemplified by the music of J.S. Bach (1685-1750).

In music

Bars 1-8 from Bach Prelude No.1 (WTC) | excerpt from "Bach's Guitar: Master Chords and unlock your Right Hand" by Peter Inglis.
Bars 1-8 from Bach Prelude No.1 (WTC) by J.S. Bach.

J.S. Bach

Bach's Guitar: Master Chords and unlock your Right Hand
Bach's Guitar: Master Chords and unlock your Right Hand

In Nature

Trees often display intricate counterpoint. | Stages in painting "Capture the Light (Wisteria Gardens)" - An original Australian Landscape by Peter Inglis. © 2018 Peter Inglis
Trees often display intricate counterpoint.

The deeper you look, the more contrapuntal movement you will see. We choose energetic brush strokes to emphasise this musical movement. In another painting we might choose to stipple, representing intersecting clouds of harmony.